13 Ways to Use That Wax Paper That’s Been Sitting Around Forever — In the Kitchen and Beyond

published Feb 6, 2023
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Sheet of wax paper on cutting board.
Credit: Sarah Crowley

I like to be prepared for most reasonable cooking eventualities, so I keep a pretty well-stocked kitchen. I have a mortar and pestle and kitchen twine. (I actually have about three rolls of it because I can never find it when I need it!) I even have an apple peeler and pie weights, for my annual Thanksgiving pies. 

I also have a roll of wax paper. Honestly, I think I’ve had the same box of it since my last move 11 years ago? And I use it infrequently enough that that box is still intact. The thing is, I don’t always know what to use it for, and so I seldom do.

Determined not to keep hanging on to something that I don’t actually use, but won’t throw out, I decided to dig a little and find out exactly how wax paper is intended to be used. Truth be told, I started with the suggested uses on the box itself. (You can learn a lot from reading packages sometimes!) Did you know that wax paper can be used to do the following?

1. Line counters to roll out dough.

Using flour to roll out dough isn’t always reliable and it can dry out the dough. Using wax paper ensures nothing sticks to the counters and your dough doesn’t tear. Your counters also stay clean!

2. Clean the blades of your can opener.

Fold a small piece of wax paper a couple of times and run it through your can opener. You might be surprised at the gunk that comes out of the blades. Your tool will also work more smoothly next time you use it. 

3. Make a funnel quickly.

I love my collapsible silicone funnels, but you can also make funnels out of a piece of wax paper to perform tasks like refilling your oil dispenser or spice containers. The wax paper is stiff enough to hold its shape while you use it, and you can toss it when you’re finished. It’s also perfect for making a funnel for a DIY fruit fly trap if you don’t have a jar with a lid. 

4. Cover food in the microwave.

A piece of wax paper is perfect for covering food in the microwave so it doesn’t splatter all over the interior. This cuts down on unnecessary cleaning (yay!). 

5. Give wooden bowls and cutting boards a protective coating.

Wiping down wooden bowls and cutting boards with wax paper gives them a protective barrier. Try this after you give them a thorough cleaning.

6. Wrap cheese.

Unlike plastic, wax paper allows cheese to breathe. Use it to wrap your fancy cheese to keep it at its best, but only if you’re planning to eat it within three or four days. 

7. Recork wine.

If you need to recork wine with its original cork, wrap it with a bit of wax paper first to help it slip into the bottle more easily. 

8. Line refrigerator drawers.

I always like to line my refrigerator drawers with paper towels to catch drips and spills. But wax paper is much more durable. 

9. Keep ice cream fresh.

To keep your ice cream nice and creamy, without those pesky ice crystals on the surface, cover your carton with wax paper before putting the lid back on. 

10. Unstick zippers.

If you encounter a stubborn zipper, rub the tines with some wax paper. It should help the zipper glide smoothly again. 

11. Polish faucets.

Get rid of water spots on faucets and other fixtures with a swipe of wax paper, which melts them away. Use it in both kitchens and bathrooms. 

12. Help curtains glide.

It’s no fun to try to close curtains when they skitter across the curtain rod. Run some wax paper over the rod to help them close smoothly. 

13. Make an iron slide across clothes again.

Yes, there’s a theme: Wax paper helps things glide. The same is true of your clothes iron. Running some wax paper over the plate helps it glide smoothly over clothes again and makes ironing much easier.